No Way to Treat Human Beings
By Bonnie Weinstein
By Sarah Lazare
Johns, Pimps and Human Traffickers
By Chris Hedges
JEcological Crisis and the Tragedy of the Commodity
By Stefano B. Longo and Brett Clark
Now you can view the content of this issue of Socialist Viewpoint in electronic format on your Kindle, iPad or any other Reader that supports the PDF format.
Answer to Michael Moore: We ain't Gonna Play the Game No More!
By Bonnie Weinstein
Abu Graib Comes to Amerika (Expanded)
By Kevin “Rashid” Johnson
The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness
By Chris Hedges
and Laila Al-Arian
The End of State-Socialism and The Future of Marxism
By Dr. Nasir Khan
No Way to Treat Human Beings
Why we need an international, revolutionary, socialist vanguard party whose goal is to abolish capitalism and establish socialism everywhere
There is a world war being waged against the entire working class by the capitalist class—led by U.S. capitalism. In every country, in every corner of the world, workers are being force-fed war, racism, bigotry, police brutality, incarceration and austerity while the capitalists accumulate more wealth. Our environment is being systematically plundered for the natural resources capitalism needs to fuel their private-profit industry.
In order to protect the private ownership of industry and wealth, they must maintain and fund a huge military industrial complex, police force, and prison system. This is expensive and is paid for by the working class—through our labor and by the taxes we are forced to pay—to keep the capitalists and their wealth safe.
Capitalism is destroying the planet. It cannot be reformed, reshaped or restructured—it must be abolished. And the only way that can be accomplished is for the entire working class and all of our allies to unite behind that goal.
The revolutionary party of the working class
This is no simple task. Workers are divided and live in constant fear of poverty and death at the hands of the capitalist class. We are made to feel powerless against an allegedly indestructible power structure. But the opposite is true. A united working class dwarfs the capitalists. Through unity and solidarity across the globe—we could overthrow this unjust and murderous system of capitalism.
In order to achieve this sort of mass unity and solidarity we need a vanguard of revolutionary socialists who understand that capitalism must go; that workers must organize independently of the capitalists; that there can be no collaboration between the workers and the capitalists.
We need a core of revolutionary socialist workers who will provide leadership for the whole working class to take control of our society by uniting and fighting in our own defense. This is the only way to create a world that can answer the needs of all of humanity and all life on the planet. Through the power of a united working class we can establish a truly democratic socialist society without borders, exploitation and oppression.
There can be no socialism
in one country
Capitalism respects no borders. It is an international system of mass oppression. Only workers are imprisoned by borders and criminalized for crossing them without permission from the capitalist class.
Nothing makes this clearer than the current international migrant crisis. In an August 21, 2015 New York Times article by Aleksandar Dimishkovski titled, “Macedonian Police Clash with Migrants on the Border with Greece,”
“‘About 42,000 migrants, mostly from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, have traveled through the country in the past two months, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.’ …The Macedonian police used stun grenades and tear gas early on Friday, [August 21, 2015,] to disperse a large group of migrants trying to enter the country from Greece. The clashes took place a day after the Macedonian government declared a temporary state of emergency at its southern border with Greece and at its northern frontier with Serbia. The move appeared to be an attempt to introduce greater control over the wave of migrants who travel through the country, hoping to reach richer countries in Western Europe. …Supported by armored vehicles, the police used barbed wire to fence off the cross-border rail tracks along which migrants had been walking. The declaration of a temporary state of emergency allows the government to use soldiers to further bolster security on the border.”
And in an August 28, 2015 New York Times article by Alison Smale, Melissa Eddy and Palko Karasz titled, “Grim Findings in Austria and at Sea Push Migrant Crisis Into Public View,”
“…on Tuesday on the A4 highway that links Vienna and Budapest, the truck reached its destination and pulled over. The migrants hustled out. An Austrian policeman on his way to work spotted the scene, alerted colleagues and followed the truck. As the three smugglers headed back toward Hungary, the Austrian police arrested them before they were across the border. On Thursday, another truck was opened at the side of the same Austrian highway, but the consequences were far more grim: 71 migrants, including four children, were found dead in the back compartment that had at one time been refrigerated, likely asphyxiated in the summer heat. The discovery provided the most tragic evidence to date of a crime that the authorities said has been proliferating in Europe since the migrant crisis shifted east: an increase in human trafficking over land routes by smugglers who are cashing in on the human flow from war-torn and strife-ridden places like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Africa.”
The same is being carried out here in the USA. According to a March 11, 2014 CounterPunch article by Tanya Golash-Boza titled “Obama’s Mass Deportations,”
“The United States has witnessed a tremendous rise in the number of people detained and deported since 1997. Between 1892 and 1997, there were 2.1 million deportations from the United States. Since then, there have been nearly twice as many: the sum total of deportations between 1998 and 2012 is over 4.1 million. At current rates, President Obama is on track to deport more people in his first six years as President than all deportations prior to 1997. Alongside deportation rates, detention rates have skyrocketed, from a daily average of 5,532 in 1994 to upwards of 30,000 today.”
All these people are fleeing the violence and poverty created by capitalism—especially by the commanders of U.S. capital who are waging war all over the world in an effort to destabilize foreign economies in order to control their wealth and resources.
The U.S. arms warlords in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa—and all across the globe—creating social and economic chaos for masses of workers. The only option these workers have is to escape in desperation. To try to reach a place where they can live and work in peace.
It is not feasible to try and build socialism country by country because capitalisms’ assault is ongoing everywhere at once. In every country workers are suffering under the same austerity measures meted out by the capitalists.
The capitalists are not only waging war on workers but they are at war with one another. The U.S. wants to come out on top of this war, of course. That’s why they support and encourage the destabilization of country after country.
The current world situation demands a “United Nations of Socialists” to establish a worldwide alliance of revolutionary, anti-capitalist socialists that can bring all workers together into the same struggle for economic and social freedom, equality and democracy under workers control, i.e., an international party of the working class capable of taking power out of the hands of the capitalist elite.
Why we can’t support capitalist political parties or so-called “independent” parties that attempt to reform capitalism—to create a “kinder and gentler” capitalism.
There is no such thing as a “kinder and gentler” capitalism. That is an oxymoron. Capitalism’s current assault on the world’s working class is not a matter of moral or immoral decisions being made by individual capitalists. It is an economic system that has a logic of its own that individual capitalists cannot control. For the economic system of capitalism to survive, it MUST increase its rate of profit by any means necessary. And, in the current world economic crisis, the only way to do that is to squeeze the wealth out of the working class ever harder by waging war, driving down our wages and increasing our taxes and general costs of living.
Workers are made to pay more for everything we have because we can’t afford to buy things outright. We don’t earn enough money. So we have to buy the major things we need—refrigerators, stoves, cars, houses, even food and education—on credit, paying extra in interest to the banks and loan companies.
This serves the capitalists in two major ways. First, of course, they make money on the interest we pay over and above the inflated prices they charge; and second, it paralyses our ability to struggle for more pay and better working conditions. Workers who have jobs live in fear of losing them because we live, on average, one paycheck away from poverty and homelessness. The whole system is designed to prevent us from fighting against it—to make us feel powerless and futile against capitalist exploitation and oppression.
We need a revolutionary socialist vanguard party to show workers that we are not powerless at all; that through unity and solidarity against capitalist war and oppression we can establish a better world based upon the needs of the majority of humanity and the sustainability of the planet we share.
The capitalist political system of “lesser evil” politics is designed to funnel workers into a downward spiral of powerlessness by voting for the least-bad candidates among all the capitalist candidates. It is not a democratic system at all. Money drives all the campaigns. The candidates are representatives of the commanders of capital. They are members of that group or they can’t compete in the elections. They will say whatever they think will get them elected—whatever might get the most votes. But they are not held whatsoever to their promises.
Their job is to preserve the power of the capitalist class over the working class. Workers lose no matter which pro- or reform-capitalist candidate elected to office—because it is a suicidal vote for capitalism. This is not democracy. Workers have no democratic say anywhere—in the workplace, the streets, the schools—unless we organize together and fight for the things we want and need to improve our lives and maintain a healthy planet.
A revolutionary world socialist vanguard party is necessary to achieve the ultimate goal of building a massive, international party of, by and for the working class in direct opposition to the continuation of capitalism everywhere. Such an anti-capitalist, socialist party—with the support of the overwhelming majority—does have the power to end capitalism and replace it with a socialist system that puts people and the planet first.